Four States Small Business Blog

Google Core Web Vitals and Your Website's Ranking

Posted by Chad Elliot on May 18, 2021 at 7:00 AM
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This month Google set new standards for ranking websites. Google’s Core Web Vitals will change the game when it comes to who scores the top spot in the search results. As has always been the case, being number one in the search results is hugely important to securing your business's success. If customers can’t find you, they certainly can’t buy from you. To stay ahead of the competition, you’ll need to know the rules of the game. Our web department at Zimmer Marketing stays on top of these trends to stay a step ahead. Below we’ll go over all the changes that Google has made, and how they will affect your website.

Google Core Web Vitals

What are Google’s Core Web Vitals? There are three: largest contentful paint (LCP), first input delay (fid), and cumulative layout shift (CLS). Each is unique but measures the basic performance characteristic of your webpage. Each of these core web vitals are designed with the user experience in mind. Nobody likes to wait around for a slow website, which is why Google will now reward websites which can fulfill user expectations.

Largest Contentful Paint

LCP measures how long it takes your website to load the largest visual element above the fold. The fold is the area of a web page below the view of the screen where you have to scroll to see. Your website needs to load in under 2.5 seconds to be considered good. A load time of between 2.5 and 4 seconds is considered to need improvement, while a sub 4 second load time is poor. Spending up your largest contentful paint will give your website visitors a more enjoyable time, and will also help boost your website’s ranking from Google. 

First Input Delay

FID is pretty straightforward. This metric measures how long it takes for your website to respond after a visitor interacts with it. Let’s say you go to navigate to a website then press the about tab in the navigation bar. It should take less than 100 milliseconds for that website to respond to your input. Speeds of 100-300 ms need improvement. Anything less is very poor and sure to get to be a bad mark against your website. Web users like a seamless experience, and Google is intent on providing that with the first input delay metric.

Cumulative Layout Shift

CLS measures how much a website’s features move position as the website loads in. If you’ve ever been about to click a button on a website and had it suddenly move and cause you to click something else, you’ll be familiar with what CLS is trying to fix. This web core vital is considered the hardest of the three to optimize for. It’s important when creating a web page to give each element adequate space, so that the page does not shift as it loads. A layout shift of 0.1 inches is good, while anything less than 0.25 inches is poor. 

Why Are Google Web Core Vitals Important?

Most internet searchers don’t look passed about the third organic result on Google. And virtually nobody ventures on to the second page of the Google search results. Successful website owners work hard to keep their website at the top of the results page for their keywords. New factors for ranking present both an opportunity and a threat. For instance, if your website controls the top slot for your most important keywords, but your site is not optimized to Google’s new standards, you may find a proactive competitor take your position. However, if you give your website some TLC, you may be the one moving up in rank.

At this point, it is unclear how much of a ranking penalty websites who don’t meet the web core vitals standard will face. What is clear is that Google intends to reward websites that are fast and user friendly at the expense of less optimized sites. Currently, only about 15% of websites are capable of passing a web core vitals check. In the near future, Google plans to also provide a badge that appears in the search results for Google web core vitals optimized sites. Now, is certainly the time to take advantage of these changes. 

Zimmer Marketing Builds Google Web Core Vitals Optimized Websites

If you want a website which will measure up to the new Google web core vitals, Zimmer Marketing can make that happen for you. Here are a few reasons to consider having a website built and hosted by Zimmer Marketing:

  1. Our web developers build custom, purpose-built websites (That means no junk slowing your site down).
  2. We design websites to load fast and appear consistently, so you’ll have a killer CLS score.
  3. Our secure private server is extremely fast. There is no better home for your website than Zimmer Marketing.

Are you curious how your website measures up? Use our free website audit tool here.

Topics: Website Design